Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Moonbat Versus The God Botherers

Despite being essentially agnostic I find the fashion to bash religion in all its forms to be rather tedious. Like almost any phenomena, religion has both positive and negative effects and the simplistic God-Squad-bashing which only sees the negative qualities is as ignorant and irrational as anything preached by men in dog collars. Too many supposed secularists don't understand that secularism isn't the same as militant atheism.

George Monbiot is a case in point, in an article on how stoopid Americans aren't sophisticated enough to embrace their intellectual liberal superiors, a theory which I've debunked before, he claims:

One theme is both familiar and clear: religion - in particular fundamentalist religion - makes you stupid. The US is the only rich country in which Christian fundamentalism is vast and growing.

This is nonsense. The most educated regions of the US, based on academic performance and the location of elite universities are the most secular parts so superficially this makes sense. Yet 300 years ago New England and the North East were the most religiously observant parts of what would become the USA, the Puritans of New England were far more devout that the Presbyterians of Appalachia which is why they were so keen on executing witches in the North East. Yet even then New England had higher literacy rates and had established Harvard. So clearly Monbiot's claim is nonsense.

The contemporary example of heavily Mormon Utah ought to dispel the idea that religious observance makes you stupid as it is one of the most educated and economically successful states in the US.

4 comments:

G Orwell said...

The UK was relatively richer to the rest of the world when we were more religious.

Of course if you write for the Guardian the facts are irrelevant.

Ross said...

True.

TDK said...

In the early years of last century the progressives, particularly in America were overwhelmingly Christian. Times change and memories on the left are short.

Even in Britain the Labour Party owes a lot to Methodism - a protestant sect that has virtually disappeared in one generation.

Ross said...

I think Labour were described as owing "more to Methodism than Marx" by someone or other.